A dry run is a great idea.
Also, be sure to have a clear understanding with your hiking partner that if one of you stops being comfortable and wants to bail, you'll bring it up immediately and discuss it without animosity. You may find, after talking a few minutes, that it isn't really time to bail yet; but that decision should always be a joint one, not a case where one of you intimidates the other into continuing. Backpacking should be fun, not a death march to a goal. (I know from experience that, in backpacking, "macho" is not a term restricted to describing only men.) Besides, I'm assuming you want to keep your hiking partner for the long term - the best way to lose a partner is to force them beyond their limits. ("Comfort zone" and "limits" aren't necessarily the same thing. It's one thing to persuade someone to continue outside their comfort zone; it's sadism to push them beyond their limits.)
Let us know your plan for the dry run, and for sure let us know how it goes.